Have you made New Year’s resolutions and realized that it didn’t even make it to February before you already abandoned them? Well, you are not the only one. Research has shown that less than than 8% actually end up achieving their goals for the new year.
I actually stopped making new years resolutions years ago, simply because I knew I’d fail to keep them. It would only make me feel frustrated and bad about myself.
But something changed two years ago. Instead of New Year’s Resolutions I made some Life Resolutions: I created a vision board and wrote a detailed mission statement of what I really want my life to be like.
Since then, the way I live my life has changed drastically. In this blog I want to share 5 aspects that have helped me live with more purpose and achieve more goals in one year than mere new year/s resolutions have ever done before. Here is how you can accelarate in 2017:
Whether you set goals for the year ahead or for your life, in order for it to materialize you need to be specific. Don’t just say, “I want to change in 2017” or “I want to be healthier.” That is too general.
Formulate your goals SMART: specific, measurable, ambitious, achievable and time-bound. For instance: “I want to be healthier by exercising 2 times a week, on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings, for 45 Minutes in XY fitness club.” The more specific you are, the more able you will be to actualize the goal.
Next to that, begin with the end in mind. Do not try to merely do an adjustment on the behavioral level as many New Year’s Resolutions set out. Create a long-term vision for your life so that you can keep the bigger picture in mind when you want to drop the ball: why again did want to do this? The bigger why will give you sustained motivation.
Set long-term goals and break them down into short-term goals. For example, if you want to increase your fitness within a period of 6 months so that you can run a marathon, you need to break it down into daily action steps and weekly milestones to build up your physical strength and condition.
Once you reach a milestone you will get a boost, feel good about yourself and be motivated to follow through the next milestone.
The same principle is applicable for other areas in your life: if you want to improve a relationship, a skill, your physical or emotional health or if you want to have a more balanced lifestyle: you need to plan in how to reach that end goal and then start with small measurable action steps you pursue on a daily or weekly basis.
Share your goals with friends or family and let them hold you accountable. Let them motivate you or encourage you when you have a hard time following through. Social support is critical.
Yes, it takes some personal courage and vulnerability to share something that you might actually fail at, but to increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you.
One of the most effective things you can do is to get an “accountability partner”, someone who checks in with you on a regular basis. It’s easy to break a promise to yourself, but far harder to admit it to a friend.
For other goals you might need a coach or mentor – make sure you get someone alongside you who has walked the walk and knows how to help you and encourage you on the way to reaching your goal.
It’s important to celebrate victories and achievements of milestones! Most of us tend to look at the things we have not achieved yet, but if we do not learn to enjoy our small victories, we will not be satisfied with big ones either! Instead, we will lose motivation, joy and vision.
Celebrating victories is a habit of highly successful people. After giving out, you need to reward yourself and enjoy the achievement and progress. That does not have to be an excessive party – but the point is to live in the moment and recognize the progress! It cultivates gratitude.
Understand the Process
Progress is seldom linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts. For others, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly see breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time. But the point is: you have to start somewhere.
And if you’ve dropped the ball, pick it up again. Don’t give up that easily.
If you want to know more in how to make 2017 a year of acceleration then sign up for my Jumpstart Your Dream in 2017 live webinar here.